June 9, 2021
Nicola Forbes-Taylor

On Blend with Nicola | What does hybrid working really mean for performance management?

For those who haven't met me yet, I'm Nicola, I developed my skills and approach through my 15 years in business optimisation, generalist HR roles in corporate (O2, PPR Group and large utilities) and fast growth environments, including start-up tech (Huddle, Nutmeg, Onfido). I have qualified as a fellow of the CIPD, ILM Level 7 coach and psychometrics practitioner.

As we emerge into more formalised hybrid working, I’m seeing some interesting approaches to performance management. I wonder how you are embracing the increased need for clarity across your teams? 

Hybrid working = physically differently locations > need for clarity > aligned performance 

How does hybrid working really impact performance management? 

Theme #1: Hybrid working and an increased need for alignment  

We are working different patterns; many on a 60:40 basis, office:home or home:office. When we go to a company office location, we may cross over with some, but not with all colleagues to connect on projects. When working from home, we have time for project meetings but not ad-hoc touch points to align on work. 

What employees need, and we are pleased to see across our clients is an increased focus on setting expectations and creating clarity, ensuring team members know the value they add to the organisational goals. 

  • We have seen a 198% increase in objectives set YoY compared to Q1 2020 
  • Making a Difference At Work #3 most important motivator (Blend element) across our entire portfolio of users.  

Theme #2: Employee Engagement needs to be of the whole person 

With the increased awareness of our work/life Blend (rather than balance), we know we need to engage around patterns of working and infrastructure support to enable team members to do their best work.  

Our clients, who consistently value people at the centre of their organisations, are using Blend insights to understand what is important to their team members, so effort and planning is focussed on what is really valuable. Do you understand what your team members really want, post-lockdown? 

  • Time With Family and Friends #2 most important motivator (Blend element) across our entire portfolio of users.  

I wonder what that looks like for your unique employees? 

Theme #3: Intentional collaboration  

In the brave new world, we are seeing the evolution of collaboration to include more intent. It is a necessity of coordinating different physical locations and time-zones. Having a focused agenda and remembering to talk about the right things at the right times is crucial for successful collaboration and great productivity. 

  • Our clients have used our Talking Points functionality to create bespoke focus more than ever over the last quarter. 
  • Feedback is the most common area of focus in Talking Points in 2021, supporting increased trust and transparency in our client cultures.  

As we anticipate the re-opening of society and the lifting of lockdown, I hope, like our clients, you also focus in on alignment, collaboration and the engagement of your team members as whole humans, to create strong performance cultures where we all do our best work. 

Nicola Forbes-Taylor, Implementation and Success Consultant. 

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